Causes for Anorexia in Middle Age Women

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The prevalence of research on women who suffer from eating disorders has customarily centered on either adolescent or young adult women. As the baby boomer generation ages a growing need has developed to expand the studies to include middle-aged women. Mounting evidence indicates eating disorders in this population has steadily been on the rise. (Lucas, Beard, O’Fallon & Kurkland, 1991). Although reports indicate that eating disorders can develop at any age, there is conflicting evidence in the studies reviewed whether there are actually new episodes of eating disorders in middle aged women. Every study confers that there can be relapses, of eating disorders or even lifelong issues that have gone undiagnosed. (Gadalla, 2008). A number of studies suggest that the same concerns or personality traits plaguing young women are also at the root of the issues within middle age women, with a few additional contributors. This review summarizes the most current research in the field on the study of the increase in cases of eating disorders more specifically anorexia within the middle-aged female population and what the contributing reasons maybe. Anorexia will be the focal point of eating disorders discussed as that was the eating disorder used in the majority of the studies utilized for the purpose of this review. The female gender is more often linked, as being at risk for eating disorders and this statistic does not change demographically within the aging population with occurrences and/or reoccurrence of eating disorders. Females represent about 90% of eating disorder diagnosis (Patrick, & Stahl, 2009). The percentage of men, including a new sub-category on the brink of being studied, homosexuals who suffer eatin... ... middle of paper ... ...of General Psychology, 136 (1), 5-16. Pruis, T, & Janowsky, J. (2010). Assessment of body image in younger and older women. The Journal of General Psychology, 137 (3), 225-239. Steiger, H, Jabalpurwala, S, Champagne, J, & Stotland, S. (1997). A controlled study of Trait narcissism in anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Journal of Eating Disorders, 22(2), 173-178. Taylor, F. (2008). Eating disorders are not just a problem for the young. Pavilion Journals, 12(3), 31-33. Vitousek, K, & Manke, F. (1994). Personality variables and disorders in anorexia nervosa And bulimia nervosa. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103, 137-147. Westen, D, & Harnden-Fischer, J. (2001). Personality profiles in eating disorders: Rethinking the distinction between axis I and axis II. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158, 547-562.
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